Recently I got checked by someone for being too pro-marriage. I have to admit that the hopeless romantic in me loves the idea of forever commitment and love. Today millennials are getting married at older ages and are waiting longer to start families. There are a lot of people out there who don’t understand the idea of commitment. Starter marriages abound and are typically thought of as a stepping stone to finding “the one.” Other than the vows and a few tax breaks, one’s state of mind is really the deciding factor for marriage. There are couples without a “title” who are more committed than others who vowed before hundreds of their friends that they would protect and love each other forever. As much as I like the idea of legally being bound to someone, I think that so much depends on the choice of both individuals to choose to be in a relationship every day. Commitment is great but it doesn’t always require a marriage. There are people who are perfectly content and happy without getting married and it works for them.
This!!! Not everything, but mostly. I can relate to a lot.
I haven’t been to church in over a year now, and I’ve been pondering how I should address what I’ve discovered along the way. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, y…
I was talking to someone not too long ago about texting rules and the role that texting plays in relationships. Like many millennials, I tend to prefer texting over talking on the phone unless its for an interview of some sort. I know someone who has a rule that her significant other is never allowed to text her and must always call in order to speak to her. Probably not a bad rule. Texting is a great way to be misunderstood and become (unnecessarily) offended. It’s an easy way to communicate that doesn’t require much effort and to be honest, I think that it’s made a lot of people lazy communicators. You don’t even have to type anything anymore as you can have a whole conversation with emojis. Needless to say, I know I’m not the only one who gets annoyed when you don’t get a response within a reasonable amount of time (between 1 and 3 hours). I recognize that there are people who don’t live by their phone and don’t have time to answer immediately. I remember meeting a cute guy at an event. Gave him my number, blah, blah, blah. He texted me and I texted back within a reasonable time period (about 20 minutes). However, it soon became apparent that he had a lot going on as his subsequent replies took about 6 hours or more. Any attempts at an actual conversation were futile. I can be a fairly patient person but this was a little excessive and definitely wasn’t reasonable. We ended up going out and it was interesting to see how attached he was to his phone. Often stopping in mid-sentence to respond to text messages. I wasn’t too happy. In addition to the fact that he was 20 minutes late and (literally) lived right around the corner and I drove 40 minutes and was early. Not cool.
This weekend I went to a young adults relationship seminar sponsored by one of the local churches. The subject was on being single. Growing up in a church environment I’ve attended hundreds of seminars on relationships, marriage, and being single. I went to this one hoping to find some real life advice/feedback or encouragement. Boy was I wrong. I realized how much I’ve changed since being a teenager. The speaker focused on being a whole person in yourself, not worrying about being married, blah, blah, blah. I’ll take some accountability and admit that I’m definitely more cynical than I was as a single person 10 years ago. I know people who are genuinely happy waiting for “the One” to manifest and I think that’s great for them. While I’ll never go out of my way to talk about how much I absolutely hate being single, I can say with confidence that it’s not my favorite thing. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become increasingly frustrated with all the “advice” coming from (self-proclaimed) religious people. There are those who promise you’ll find someone and those who say that you’ll have to learn to be content by yourself. I think that optimism is good but one must also be realistic. I prefer not spending my life waiting to do things because I want a significant other to join me. I don’t think that one should put their entire lives on hold because they are waiting on someone who very well may not even exist. As nice as it would be to have someone who is invested in me to make major decisions with, I’m not a fan of the current dating climate. I think I’m just over it. At least for a while.
LookCatalog.comDating sucks in general, but it’s even worse when you’re the type of girl who acts like she doesn’t give a fuck when she’s secretly a soft, sensitive soul. You can’t keep up the charade forever. Well, you can, but it’s going to make your dating life much harder than it has to be. Men hurt you without even…
When I was little there was a family friend who got married. She had always been nice to me and my siblings and we all liked her. Now from a very early age I was a hopeless romantic, picking out future wedding colors and performing fake weddings with my dolls. Needless to say I was crushed when my family received the invitation to her wedding and it was adults only. I love weddings and I wanted to be there. However, as I’ve gotten older I’ve understood the reasoning behind having a kid free wedding–and would probably have one as well. My siblings and I were raised to not cause loud disturbances in public and “act like we had some sense.” But we were also very aware of others who had not been raised the same way and often recoiled in horror at the behaviors of our peers. I think that children are a blessing. I admire all those who strive to provide a loving and stable homes but I have to admit that my patience isn’t always on point when I hear a crying baby or am delayed unexpectedly because of someone’s kid. The fact is that there are some events that aren’t appropriate for kids that aren’t well behaved and weddings are in that category. I personally would be a little annoyed having a baby cry during the ceremony. It’s not that I don’t understand babies cry but it’s an assault to the eardrums of everyone else without a crying baby. It’s easier to ban all kids than to only invite the well behaved ones. I personally think it would be nice to have one section in a plane dedicated to parents with small children. I know I’m not the only one who breathes a sigh of relief when you see the mother with the baby isn’t sitting on your row. But I digress. My point is that when you don’t have kids, sometimes it’s nice to not be inconvenienced by them. And there’s less well behaved ones these days. Possibly one of the reasons why my next vacation is at an adults only retreat.
One more date story and I won’t post another one for a while…. Anyway, once upon a time I was told that the way to meet a nice and stable significant other was join a nice church and get very involved to the extent that I forgot about getting a significant other and then he would magically appear. He would sing my praises. And tell me that he had been watching me since day was and was impressed with my selflessness and willingness to dedicate my time to a worthy cause and we would live happily ever after. (totally different blog topic). Needless to say, I decided that I needed to become more involved in church related activities and joined a church. A rather large one. One day after service I got approached by this guy. Well, more like stalked because he lurked in the shadows while I was talking to other people. He tried to be discreet by looking at his phone (oldest “newest” trick in the book) and looking away whenever I glanced in his direction. Side note, working in a locked secure unit with psychotic individuals will make you learn how to be extremely aware of your surroundings at all times. Anyway, he didn’t approach me and I continued to talk to other people. I soon wrapped up my conversations and headed for the door. Then he made his move and called out “Ma’am!” as I was headed to my car. Not trying to be rude, I stopped walking and waited for him to catch up. He told me his name and stuck out his hand for the limpest handshake in life. I didn’t hold it against too much because homeboy was super nervous. He started to stutter because he was so nervous. As painful as it was to watch, I decided to do the right/nice thing. I’ve been told that I appear way too unapproachable and I tend to have a “don’t talk to me” vibe/persona/whatever when I have something to do or a timeframe. So this guy stutters through telling me that he’d like to get to know me better and asking for my number. I knew that it took a lot to get up the courage to approach me and I didn’t want to brush him off because rejection really sucks and he had this little puppy dog look. I’ve never been in the business of crushing hearts and dreams. I felt bad for him but also wanted to provide some positive reinforcement to approach other women in the future. There’s enough men out there who don’t. So I gave him my number. The real one. And inwardly shuddered while doing so. About a week or so later he called me up. I answer the phone and there’s this long awkward pause. He doesn’t say hello, he just breathes. So I say hello again and he finally responds to the greeting. After this follows the most awkward conversation I’ve probably ever had over the phone. It’s apparent that he expects me to carry the entire conversation so I put on my therapist hat and made an effort to engage him. No luck..he gives vague one word answers and it’s the conversational equivalent of pulling teeth. So I make a very legitimate excuse about needing to get my rest for the night and I end the call. I don’t hear anything from him for a few weeks. I’m not really surprised. Then one Saturday he calls me again. Another awkward conversation ensues. But this time he’s asking me out to a comedy show he won 4 tickets to. He tells me that he has a friend who wants to go and he asks me to find a friend to come as well so it’s a double date. Being as accommodating as I am I told he I could probably find someone but that his friend would have to pay for what she ordered. He balked a little but eventually agreed. Mind you, he asked me out on the day of the event with about 5 hours advance notice. Needless to say, I found a friend who agreed to come along. We got to the place and he was late. I get it. Things happen. He apologized. The three of us waited for his friend to arrive. And waited. And waited. The venue opened and people were going in. They announced that the doors would be closed after a certain time and no one else would be allowed entry so that the show wouldn’t be interrupted. No friend in sight. He wanted to wait for his friend to arrive before we went inside but gently insisted that we had 3 out of the 4 people present and that it didn’t make sense to miss out on the entire show just because one person was late. He begrudgingly agreed and called his friend. Turns out his friend was currently sitting at home watching the NBA finals and said that he intended to leave his house when the game ended. So we went inside and watched the show. His friend arrived about an hour and a half late and snuck in through the stage entrance in order to get in because the main doors were closed. My guy had a grand old time and probably about 4 beers too many. His hyena like laughter bounced off the ways off the venue and his friend’s manners weren’t that great either. However, when the bill came they both paid for our food. So if having food paid for is the determining factor for a date I guess this was one. My friend went home and he offered to walk me to my car. I guess hoping to chat a bit more or at least get some reward for his efforts. His friend followed him as he walked me to my car. I thought it was hilarious. Now, I’m not the expert by any means on social cues but if my friend has a date and he’s walking her back to her car I know enough not to follow them both right to her car door. Apparently his friend didn’t get that memo. Needless to say, the nonexistent mood was killed. He texted me again a few weeks later. I didn’t reply.
I’ve always been a fan of the Olympics. There’s something to be said about watching people compete to be the best in the world. I remember wanting to attend the summer games when the Olympics were in Atlanta. We only lived about 3 or 4 hours away but my parents quickly vetoed that course of action. But in their defense, they DID have 4 children under the age of 7 at the time. As a homeschooler, I talked my mother into letting me write a report on the Olympics to count for school credit and I watched for hours at the 2000 Summer Games. I remember always thinking about how old I would be when the next Olympic games came around and what my life would look like. So much has changed every four years in my life up to this point. From watching the games in my living room in the middle-of-nowhere Alabama, to watching in between classes and homework as a college freshman, to watching highlights online in my Colorado apartment because I didn’t have cable as a struggling graduate student, to watching in my living room as a doctoral student in metro Atlanta. I have so much respect for all the athletes who have dedicated their life to a literal pursuit of being the best in the world in a particular sport. It takes so much focus and determination and work behind the scenes to be able to get to that point. They have pushed themselves over and over again and now are engaged in a competition where they will have the chance to prove themselves and bring home the gold to their home countries. But it’s also a reminder to me to do something interesting or reinvent myself in some way every four years. There’s too much time in that 4 year gap to not do something unique and productive. After all, they say “good” is the enemy of “great.”
I always attempt to not tell personal stories too soon after the fact so that I doesn’t seem like I’m going after anyone. Anyway, this story is about 2 years old so I figure that it’ll be ok. Here goes:Two years ago I lived in a western state and decided that I was going to try online dating. I didn’t have any prospects and figured that after years of “focusing on school and my career” that it was time to at least test out the waters to see if the bad luck of college had followed me through graduate school. I created a profile on a very popular website that has tv commercials all the time talking about how people are matched based on their compatibility in multiple areas. I got matched with someone and went through all the preliminary questions in order to finally message him. I’ll call him “Sam.” Now, Sam looked really good on paper. He enjoyed playing soccer, had a masters degree and seemed pretty well rounded. We started talking and he asked for my number. Not too long afterwards he called me and we chatted for a bit. He had a Caribbean accent and seemed ok. He asked me out on a date and I picked a burger place not too far from where we both lived. I drove out to the place and got there early as usual. I went inside to wait for him. So he got there and he didn’t look like his picture. I take it back, he looked like his “from the shoulders up” picture. But I was looking at him in his eye. We were the same height. Now, I know height is something that can’t be changed and that no one has any control over so I kept an open mind. We got out seats and sat down and proceeded to order food. At that point I told him that I was a vegetarian and homeboy was flabbergasted. You would have thought that I said I was the offspring of aliens from Mars. “You’re just so weird,” was said multiple times during the conversation in response to other things that I disclosed (like being homeschooled). The food arrived with his coming first and he proceeded to eat while I was still waiting for my food. I understand that there are people who weren’t raised to wait for others before just digging in but I was still somewhat annoyed by his declarations of how weird I was. The conversation continued. He said that he was ready for a serious relationship and marriage and asked if I was on the same page. However under closer inquiry he disclosed that he lived in a 2 bedroom apartment with 3 of his friends and didn’t intend to get his own place anytime soon. Fine. Rents are high, you save money when you can split bills. Then he says that he doesn’t have a car . I asked why because it clearly wasn’t a financial issue (he was a CPA working for a decent sized firm), and he said that he didn’t think it was necessary. But you’re “ready” for a wife and kids? The conversation ended soon afterwards (to be honest I was just tired of being called “weird” 20 times in a row). When the bill came I’m pretty sure we split it as he didn’t offer to pay for what I ordered. We start to go outside and I realize how dark it’s gotten and I look at him. The poor thing doesn’t look like he could defend himself against anything, he looked about 115lbs soaking wet. He had taken the bus to the restaurant. So, out of some maternal urge to help someone in their time of need I had compassion (maybe pity) on him and offered to drive him home. He eagerly accepted the offer. So I took him home. He thanked me for not leaving him to wait for the bus in the dark. He tried to hug me before he got out the car and it was the most awkward hug I’ve ever experienced. He asked me when we were going to get together again. I smiled and never replied. Ever.
Recently I’ve seen a lot of social media posts about people getting engaged and also getting married. However, there is also a lot of the opposite. I saw an individual posted on social media how much it hurts to find out that you meant nothing to the other person after thinking that you meant the world to them. An author whose page I follow also posed a question asking if people are tired of dating and the overwhelming response to the post was that most people had given up on ever finding a significant romantic relationship. I wasn’t too surprised to read the responses and I found that it was easy to relate to what people were saying. While I think that’s it’s wrong to say that there are no good men/women left in the world, it would be stupid not to acknowledge how difficult it can be to “find” a normal,stable, and fairly sane person. Dating in today’s world is not as glamorous as it is in the movies and there are hundreds of unspoken rules and expectations that one is expected to just “know.” Let’s face it, it can be a hard world for a hopeless romantic. Dating can easily turn into a cycle that’s similar to fishing where you catch fish but keep throwing them back into the water because they aren’t what you’re looking for. Personally, I find it annoying when people talk about how your perfect match is “out there” and that you have a kiss a lot of frogs in order to find your prince. I don’t know if it’s really worth all that hassle.